Mudcat Café message #495687 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36064   Message #495687
Posted By: paddymac
30-Jun-01 - 10:58 PM
Thread Name: What makes a good bawdy lyric ?
Subject: What makes a good bawdy lyric ?
Bawdy songs are an enduring part of the musical scene the world over, presumptively because they usually speak to themes common to the human condition. But not all bawdy song lyrics seem well-received by audiences. Some are just too crass, and might better be thought of as "shock shlock." Others seem so subtle as to be obtuse, and the audience has to work too hard to appreciate it. I do appreciate that much of the performance aspect is picking material that reaches commonalities within a given audience. That selection process is an art form in itself.

I've been playing with bawdy lyrics of late as poetry, presenting them as a poetic art in appropriate venues. I've noticed that the best laughs seem to come from material wherein I use a nonsense sound, such as "phwet, spwit", etc., in lieu of the expected "dirty" word set up by the apparent rhyming scheme. Maybe it just that younger audiences are so accustomed to the "shock shlock" that anything that avoids the shock factor strikes them as funny because of the avoidance.

Anyhow, it's all gotten me to thinking about just what it is that makes a bawdy lyric fun for an audience. I'd like to hear the ideas of other 'Catters.